Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Guy Behind the Guy: Soak it In

Sunday, 04.26.2009 / 12:01 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim
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Guy Behind the Guy: Soak it In
Mike Sundheim
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If our two-year absence from the Stanley Cup playoffs taught me nothing else, I learned to enjoy every moment. I enjoy the every-day interactions between teammates and the sudden increase in crowd noise on a scoring chance. I store in my memory bank the sounds of fans at the airport at 1 a.m. and the buzz of the media in the locker room after a morning skate. In a series entirely too close for predictions, the only things I know for sure about today is that fans will start arriving in our parking lots when they open at 2:30 p.m., and that this building will be jam-packed and roaring when the puck drops at 7:30. Those facts alone are enough to make my arm hairs stand on end, let alone the possibility that we may witness something like what we saw at the end of Game 4 here.

So soak those moments in. Watch the cars with flags flying roll into the lots. Smell the barbecue cooking in the lots. Cheer a little kid doing his best Cam Ward impression in a street hockey game. I know I'll be out there at some point tonight, as Kyle and I make our pre-game rounds outside before every playoff game. I'll meet some friends, grab a brat and watch some people play cornhole. And then we'll wind our way back inside, through a maze of blaring stereos and tailgating chairs.

In the RBC Center, the crowd will cheer when warmups begin, and build to a crescendo as Steve Smith cranks the Hurricane Warning siren to welcome the Canes to the ice for the game. By the time Pete Soto's crew plays a certain song by Stryper right before the puck drop, a nationwide audience will be seeing the special atmosphere we enjoy this time of year around here.

We don't know whether we will still doing this in June or not, but we may as well enjoy every second of it along the way.

Media Alert: Along this same theme, the Star-Ledger in New Jersey included an article today about the development of our hockey market, with a special emphasis on the tailgating atmosphere.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62